NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 20, 2012

Not much hope for what lies ahead

As I See It
Richard Astukewicz

---- — The 2012 election is finally over and many of us are glad — no more calls, no more political ads, just back to normal. But now comes our major problem: What will this election mean for the nation?

For me personally, the election results are devastating. I had hoped for different results.

The nation has elected a president who has failed at every level. Under his watch our national debt rose to $16 trillion and now will rise to $21 trillion in the next four years. Four million mortgage foreclosures, 23 million underemployed workers, a failing educational system, a failing foreign policy, lowest GDP growth in 25 years, cities going bankrupt, retirement funds failing, a rising poverty rate and continued bank failures across our nation.

President Obama has placed his energy policy on renewable sources and at this point in time we have 50 companies on the brink of failure and 23 renewable energy companies across the nation have gone bankrupt, all this with your tax dollars to develop these failures.

You have elected a president who is priding himself as a warrior for the middle class while crippling the class he claims to support.

His failure on the XL pipeline that would have created 20,000 good-paying middle income jobs.

His auto bailout closed car dealerships across the nation, putting thousands of good-paying, middle-income jobs in the loss column. Hundreds of small business leaders lost. Thousands out of work, but he claims to be for the middle class.

His shutting down of our space program will put thousands of people, middle-income workers out on the street. We will lose small businesses, scientists and middle income jobs.

His plan to reduce our defense budget by $1 trillion over the next 10 years will result in the loss of a million good-paying, middle-income jobs.

This action will not only create job loss but put our national defense security in jeopardy as the world is in a terrible state with threats of war everywhere.

President Obama has a grand vision for the nation. He wants to build new schools, bridges, roads, airports and high-speed rail, but how, where will the money come from? He has an education plan, a renewable energy plan, a medical insurance plan but how, where will the money come from? It’s a grand vision, but the question remains how big a government we need and can we afford.

The president wants to build the economy from the middle class. I don’t see the middle class developing small business leaders that will create new business and much needed jobs. There are no Vanderbilts, Rockerfellers, J.P. Morgans, Henry Fords, J. Paul Gettys in the middle class.

The president keeps talking about bringing back industry and manufacturing to our shores. With the cost of labor in China at $2 an hour versus our cost of labor at $34 an hour, what companies are going to return to our shores?

Simpson-Bowles calls for $3 cuts in spending for every $1 tax increase. What will be cut? Can we cut college loans, food stamps, family aid? What do you cut? Is an austerity program in the works?

We have a re-elected president who ran his campaign on Etch-a-Sketch, on Big Bird, on Romnesia and on Mitthology. Nothing in his campaign showed what he would do to solve our problems except to Move Forward with four more years of his past four-year presidency.

James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” This is what our elected leaders now face. The buck stops with them and how they can work together to get us back on track. The question remains, will they do what’s best for the nation, not what is best for their party?

The next four years are critical to our future as a nation. Republicans and Democrats must come to agreements that will find a common cause for the common good of the nation.

Ronald Reagan in April of 1984 said, “History is a river that may take us where it will. But we have the power to navigate, to choose the direction, and make our passage together.” We are now in this river and we must navigate it correctly or it will be a river of no return.

I am opposed to what I call progressive socialism and I firmly believe President Obama is a visionary socialist. I don’t believe in big government and all it’s social programs.

As this is my final As I See It column, I wish to thank those who praised me and those who were critical of my writings. I close with this, in my own words: “Isn’t it wonderful, someone who doesn’t sit at your dinner table knows what’s best for you?”

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Richard A. Astukewicz of Salisbury is a retired business manager.